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Action to Preserve Polish Jewry As “jewish Nerve Center” Mapped at Parley Here

September 21, 1939
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A five-fold program aimed at closer organization of Polish Jews throughout the world, in view of the German invasion of Poland, to preserve Polish Jewry as a Jewish nerve center was under consideration today by the third biennial conference of Federations of Polish Jews Abroad.

The program, which provides for centralization of activities in the World Federation of Polish Jews Abroad, was laid before the conference yesterday by Executive Director Zelig Tygel and was referred to committee. It proposes that the federation:

(1) Strengthen existing federations of Polish Jews in various countries; (2) establish such federations in countries where Polish Jews are not organized; (3) move the world center of the federation to the United States, to be financed by a contribution of one-half of one per cent of all funds collected by constituent organizations; (4) organize emigration of Polish Jews from Europe under a coordinated plan and undertake negotiations with governments in immigration countries; (5) conduct political work in behalf of the Polish Jews, in cooperation with the Polish authorities, including the presentation of the case of Polish Jewish emigration needs to the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee.

In connection with the emigration question, Wolf Orzech, of Argentina, said that South American federations of Polish Jews were willing to accept responsibility for absorption of 2,000 Polish Jewish children and in this connection had obtained the support of the Cardinal of South America.

Jacob Botoshanski, of Uruguay, said last night that surveys by federations of Polish Jews in South America indicated that it was possible to arrange with governments of Latin American countries for admission of 100,000 Jews experienced in textile work. South American countries, he said, were eager to obtain trained textile workers. Many Jews were engaged in Poland’s textile industries now disrupted by the war.

The conference was concerned to a great extent with organizational problems. The biennial report of Dr. Israel Taubes of Amsterdam, general secretary of the world federation, who was unable to come to New York, said the secretariat’s plans included (1) periodic visits by central office members to various federations, (2) a series of lectures and other cultural functions, (3) increased publication and distribution of literature, (4) extension of relief activities in behalf of Polish Jewry.

Creation of an information service to establish contact between war victims in Poland and relatives in America was proposed in an address last night by Rabbi Joshua L. Goldberg, chairman of the American federation’s advisory committee, who offered to go to Poland immediately to establish the apparatus for such a service. He suggested that similar services be established by Polish Jews in other neutral countries.

Dr. Simon Segal, member of the American federation’s administrative board, in a paper on the political situation of the Jews in Poland, urged that federations abroad maintain close contact with Polish Government officials in Poland and abroad, as long as possible, with a view to cooperating with them concerning the conditions of the Polish Jews. Judah L. Wohlman, of Tel Aviv, this afternoon stressed the important role of Palestine in a solution of the Polish Jewish emigration problem and urged (1) creation of a special bureau to direct transfer of Jews to Palestine and (2) allocation of part of relief funds raised for Polish Jews to finance emigration to Palestine.

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